Our Limited Editions Club copy of Sunrise Is Coming After While consists of poems by Langston Hughes selected by Maya Angelou with silkscreens by collage artist Phoebe Beasley. It is an excellent example of the beautiful rare books created by that company.
With Hughes’ famous “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” Beasley’s silkscreens both comment and add to the poem.
This amazing copy is 82/300 and signed by Beasley and Angelou.
2017 was an incredibly busy year for the Woodson. It included completing an inventory of all of our rare books, creating new online and physical exhibits, growing our fine arts and Jewish history collections, exhibiting the history of Camp Logan, placing the KTRU Rice Radio archive online, co-hosting the Houston Folk Music Archive Celebration with the Friends of Fondren Library, participating in the Oh Project collection, and helping our Fondren Fellow discover and map the hidden bits of information in our Civil War diaries.
Here’s some of what’s coming up in 2018:
- We’re continuing our participation in the OSSArcFlow project to improve our digital preservation workflows and discoverability.
- We’re going to be the home base for the Harvey Memories Project. This multi-institutional group will working to document the stories, images, audio, and video related to Hurricane Harvey. We will be taking the lead in digitally preserving any donated items.
- We will be making new collections available for research from Audrey Jones Beck, Brochstein, Inc., and Contemporary Arts Museum Houston [CAMH].
- We’ve continued to work with the Chao Center and are expecting new additions and improvements to the Houston Asian American Archive website.
- Starting last year, we began working on our legacy media backlog. Over the past few months, the old floppies and zip disks have been preserved. Soon, our finding aids will contain descriptions of the files contained on that media.
As we complete some of the projects above and add new ones, we’ll update you on the results. Here’s to a great 2018.
The Poet’s Club established around 1908 published four volumes of poetry. One of the founding members’, T.E. Hulme, poetry in the volumes is an early version of Imagism.
The first volume appears to be an advanced copy of what would end up being their second book entitled The Second Book of the Poet’s Club, Christmas 1911. Our version is The Book of the Poet’s Club, Michaelmas 1911. Released a few months before it contains all of the same poetry, except the editors added four poems for the second book.
Note contained in our version of the first volume
This first book only seems to exist elsewhere in the Ezra Pound Papers at Yale University. Given that he was a member of the group, it makes sense that a working copy of the manuscript is there.
Another interesting aspect of these books is the amount of female writers. In the first, there are at least six easily identifiable woman, which include: Katherine Miller, Sibyl Amherst, Marion Cran, Dollie Radford, Lily Hodgkinson, Regina Miriam Bloch, and Florence Farr. Given the celebrity of actress, producer, director Farr, here is her entry.
We also have The Third Book of the Poet’s Club, Christmas 1913. Although Houston’s winter does not compare, a winter poem seems fitting for this time of year.
The Bookman bookstore owned by Grace David had an amazing 1960 Christmas catalog. Below are a few pages.
Our collections reveal a few connections to the famed Grace David, who served as the inspiration of Aurora Greenway in Terms of Endearment. We own the Charles Tapley architectural collection, which feature architectural drawings of the Grace and Henry David home. We also have a collection of Larry McMurtry papers. He both briefly attended Rice and taught here.
Perusing the rare books shelves can reveal a variety of surprises.
One unassuming volume, Lettres D’Emerance A Lucie by Jeanne-Marie Leprince De Beaumont (1765), has some interesting signatures from Sir William Clayton Bart and C.E. Clayton, Harleyford, 1819. It’s unclear if these are two separate signatures, thought they appear to be in the same hand or E.C. Clayton refers to the Clayton-East-Clayton baronets.
by William Beechy, 1802
Above is Sir William Clayton, 4th Baronet (1762-1834), who was a member of Parliament for Great Marlow.
How a book from Sir William Clayton / Harleyford Manor wound up in our rare book collection is a bit puzzling.
Image from: http://www.thepeerage.com/p1869.htm
In our Masterson Texana rare book collection, there are four screenplays written/co-written by Rice’s own Warren Skaaren: Beverly Hills Cop II, Beetlejuice, Batman, and Top Gun.
At Rice, Warren Skaaren became the voice of students during the Masterson Crisis. There are now three audio files via the KTRU Rice Radio archive that are online: Masterson Mass Student Meeting, William Masterson addressing students, and Masterson Crisis phone interviews.
The Woodson Research Center and its collections on an off site suffered no damage from Hurricane Harvey. We sincerely hope that you and yours made it safely through the storm.
If you did suffer any damage, we are sorry. If you are dealing with recovering precious items or know someone who is, we have created a research guide filled with information and tutorials.
We are doing a little bit of disaster recovery of our own. Melissa Kean brought in damp materials from the United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston on Greenwillow St. We took the wet paper out of its binder and spread out the pages to dry.
Today marks the first total solar eclipse in 38 years. Everyone in North America plus parts of South America, Africa, and Europe will see at least a partial solar eclipse.
From our History of Science book collection we have examples of 17th-19th century astronomers observing solar and lunar eclipses to test scientific theories and gain knowledge about the sun and our planet. James Ferguson, a Scottish self-taught astronomer published the 1756 bestseller Astronomy Explained upon Sir Isaac Newton’s Principles and Made Easy for Those Who Have Not Studied Mathematics and included a chapter “Of Eclipses: their number and periods. A large catalogue of ancient and modern eclipses” and feature these beautiful plates:
Plate XI. Solar and Lunar eclipses. 1803.
Plate XII. The Geometrical Construction of Solar and Lunar Eclipses. 1803.
From a more recent book, we have James Turrell’s Eclipse published in 2000 to commemorate the total solar eclipse of August 11, 1999 and Turrell’s creation of a perceptual space: The Elliptic Ecliptic, a Sky Space built on a hillside facing St. Michael’s Mount, in Cornwall, England. The book includes this beautiful aquatint:
Aquatint response print. James Turrell’s Eclipse. 2000
Today, we’ll be (safely) looking to the skies!
Among our Masterson Texana collection is this unusual little book about Texas.
Written by Col. Edward Stiff, the book acts as a biography of Col. Stiff, as well as a history of Texas. There are a few surprises inside, like this map.
Col. Stiff had very strong opinions about critics.
Also, this book plate from Yale is a bit unusual. I hope the book was obtained in an honest way.
While looking for pigs in honor of National Pig Day in a variety of versions of Aesop’s Fables, something else popped up, hand painted illustrations. The painting is quite crude and may have been the work of someone bored rather than someone trying to decorate his/her favorite book. Regardless, it’s quite interesting and at times lovely.
Perhaps, this is the artist’s signature.
This book contains hundreds of illustrations, including a pig/hog. Happy National Pig Day!